Plus500 is a well-known broker regulated by the FCA and listed on the London Stock Exchang known for offering CFD services. CFDs are leveraged products that users can place orders on, and try to predict the movements of assets. This includes anything from stocks to cryptocurrencies.
The popularity of this type of trading is quite high these days, which is why there is a number of different platforms where it can be done. Plus500 has risen as one of the most popular ones, but some users believe that this broker is a scam while others believe it to be legit and capable of generating good profits. To discover whether this broker is worth your time we have tested everything about the platform – fees, trading platform, mobile app, customer service, markets, verification process, deposit process, withdrawal process and usability, and we have found this broker to be legit and trustworthy. Read on to find out everything you need to know about Plus500.
Our Recommended Forex Broker 2020:
Our Recommended Forex Broker 2020:
What is Plus500?
Plus500 is a trading platform which acts as a CFD broker for a number of financial products and instruments, including cryptocurrencies, forex, indices, commodities, shares, options, and ETFs. The company is headquartered in Haifa, Israel. It is also listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market for Listed Companies, making it a safe and trusted service which offers a portfolio of more than 2,000 instruments.
Apart from Plus500CY, the company also has subsidiaries in the UK, Australia, Bulgaria, and Singapore.
Who Founded Plus500?
Plus500 was established back in 2008, by six people — Alon Gonen, Gal Haber, Elad Ben-Izhak, Omer Elazari, Shlomi Weizmann, and Shimon Sofer, with an initial investment of $400,000 being provided by Gonen. At the time, the platform was based on a Windows operating system, although it expanded in 2010 to include Mac and Linux users to trade as well. The iPhone and iPad support followed shortly after that, with the first apps going live in 2011, while Android support arrived a year later, in 2012, while the Windows app came in 2014.
Plus500 got listed shares on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market in July 2013, under the ticker PLUS. After the company started trading publicly (July 23rd, 2013), it managed to raise $75 million, with its market cap hitting $200 million. The company started advancing rapidly after that, launching subsidiaries around the world.[/su_note]
Regulation and Trust
Plus500 is authorized and regulated by the FCA. The Financial Connduct Authority is one of the most trusted regulatory agencies together with the CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exhange Commission) and the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission). The fact that Plus500 complies with FCA regulations means that it is allowed to operate in most European countries and you will be able to use its services without being worried of it being a scam. In fact, the internationally renowned authority requires platforms to meet very high standards regarding capital support and user protection. Non-compliance with such standards can result in a loss of their regulatory status, which could undermine their reputation and trustworthiness.
As well as this, Plus500 is considered to be a very safe and reliable service provider, as it is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s main market. In addition, the company, as well as all of its subsidiaries, are regulated by top tier financial authority.
As mentioned earlier, Plus500 offers a wide range of different markets for trading CFDs. In terms, of trading assets, the broker has a similar number of options as Coinbase, another trusted exchange that we consider to be one of the best ones out there.
On Plus500, you will be able to choose between:
CFD trading in shares is popular around the world, which is why it is hardly surprising that all the most actively traded shares can be found on Plus500.
Simply put, indices are statistics that display how the value of a group of stocks. Plus500 offers a wide range for traders to choose from.
ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, are massive funds that measure the indices’ performance. They can include large indexes or even commodities.
Commodities can include anything of value, including things like oil, gold, or even wheat. These represent hard assets, and there are quite a lot of them offered on Plus500.
We have already mentioned this, but there are several cryptocurrencies offered on Plus500 and available for trade. Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are not controlled by any type of centralized authority. They are a new form of asset, and as such, they are highly volatile and still under development.
How to trade on Plus500
Plus500 only has one account type. There is however, a possibility to have a professional account, which grants you access to a higher leverage, but you would not have access to any other advantages. In accordance with ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) restrictions, the leverage for a retail account goes up t0 1:30 for Forex, 1:20 for Indices, 1:10 for Commodities, 1:5 for Shares and 1:2 for Crypto. With a professional account, you would get a leverage of up to 1:300 for Forex and Indices, 1:150 for Commodities and 1:20 for Shares and Crypto.
Let’s discuss the platform itself. As mentioned, Plus500 offers its own trading platform, which is why it does not have to use MT3, MT4, cTrader, and alike. The platform is very straightforward, the interface is user-friendly, and it also looks good. However, it cannot be customized, which may be taken as a negative, although many find this lack to be quite manageable.
Next, the platform is available in 30 languages, which is why it can serve users from around the world. The login process also features the two-factor authentication, in addition to Facebook and Google authentication. This makes it not only safe but also quite practical and convenient.
Another great feature is the search function, which makes it easy for traders to find pretty much anything they need. The products and trading pairs are all categorized on the left for the user to browse, or they can type in the product’s name manually. Plus500 offers an excellent mobile version of the platform, as well as a decent web version.
The MT4 platform can also be downloaded on your mobile phone. Alternatively, you can download the Plus500 app and access the trading space through it. Like the desktop platform, it is very simple to use. Trading on-the-go will be as convenient as trading comfortably sitting at your desk.
Commissions, Spreads and Fees
When it comes to trading platforms’ fees, there are three types to consider. The first includes Trading fees. As the name suggests, these are the fees that traders pay during trading.
Typically, this can include commissions and spreads. The second type includes Financing rates or overnight funding, which are charged when traders hold their leveraged positions for more than one day.
Leveraged trading means that traders are borrowing money from the broker, hence the fees. Finally, there are non-trading fees, such as inactivity fees and withdrawal fees
Plus500 trading fees
When it comes to trading fees, they are quite low on the Plus500 platform, at least when compared to other platforms. There is no commission, and all that users need to pay is the spread, which is the difference between the buy and sell (bid/ask) prices.
For example, if a trader wishes to trade EUR/USD, and the buy rate is 1.3128, while the sell rate is 1.3126, then the difference between the buy rate and the sell rate is 0.0002 (2 pips, in this example). This is the size of the spread, and this is basically all that traders have to pay.
Calculating the size of the spread is not that complex, and traders pay it when opening a position, and that is it, there are no additional charges or fees there. However, considering that the spreads are not fixed, they can often change, even during a single day, depending on the buying and selling prices of CFDs.
Users can view the spread for any instrument by logging into their account, searching for the instrument, clicking on the Details icon, and scrolling down to the Info section.
Plus500 financing rates (overnight funding)
When it comes to overnight funding, the fees are quite high on the Plus500 trading platform. As explained earlier, these are the fees for traders who enter a leveraged position and leave it open for a certain period of time.
Calculations are a bit complex when it comes to Plus500 financing rates, which makes it relatively easy for the platform to change them at any time.
Those who tend to hold leveraged positions for a more extended period may discover that any such change can impact their trading fees as well. Overnight funding is typically much cheaper on other platforms, sometimes even by 5%.
The fee can be calculated by using this formula:
Trade Size * Opening Rate * Daily Overnight Funding %
For more information, go to your Plus500 platform, and click to the ‘Details’ hyperlink next to the instrument’s name on your main screen.
It should be noted that there is also an inactivity fee to watch out for, as the Plus500 website itself warns that “A charge of up to $10 will be levied, should you not log in to your trading platform for a period of three months.”
Plus500 non-trading fees
Finally, there are non-trading fees to discuss, and this is a big plus for Plus500, as the platform generally does not charge withdrawal or deposit fees, except for some circumstances. The company states that this decision came as part of its commitment to offer the best trading conditions, which is why the company itself covers most processing fees.
However, traders should be aware that some fees may occasionally appear when they deposit or withdraw their funds. The platform claims that these are not the fees introduced by the service, but the ones determined and levied by the bank or the user’s payment issuer.
This may occur for international credit card transactions, bank transfers, or transactions that include a currency that is not supported.
Commissions and spreads
Whilst there are no commissions at all, the spread is floating. In general, spreads are fairly low. The EUR/USD currency pair has a dynamic spread of 0.00006. Other popular assets, such as Gold or Netflix have spreads of 0.28 and 0.35.
As we have mentioned earlier in the “Account types” section, leverage goes up to 1:30 for retail accounts and 1:300 for professional accounts. In case you are wondering what leverage is, it is the debt you can use to buy assets. If Plus500 offers a leverage of up to 1:30, for a trade of $30 you will have to have $1 available on your trading account to be able to place that trade. Therefore, a leverage of 1:300 means that you will only need to have $1 for a trade of $300, which exposes you to the risk of losing more money.
An area where Plus500 may be lacking is in the area of educating its users about how to use the platform, enter trading, etc. As of now, the platform offers no tutorial or educational videos of any kind. While the platform is very straightforward and it is relatively easy to find your way around it, even if the user is visiting for the first time, it might be helpful if the users had some kind of tutorial on how to trade properly.
Of course, there is the option to open a demo account and try it out, although once again, it is up to the user to find their way around by themselves. Using the demo account is still a safer option than to enter a full account without knowing how to navigate or trade, so there is that, at least.
Plus500 has excellent customer support which can be reached at any time of day and night via the live chat or email. Both methods are very reliable and quick. The answers are helpful and always relevant to the customers’ problems. The email customer support typically replies within an hour. The only potential downside here is that there is no phone support. However, the quality of the other two methods definitely makes up for it.
Plus500 Pros & Cons
- The platform is easy to use
- Plus500 Ltd is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange
- The spreads are low
- Opening the account is quick and easy
- The platform is user-friendly
- Most deposits are instantaneous
- The platform has a number of useful features
- The platform has two-factor authentication for the safety of the user
- The platform is transparent and provides financial audits
- The customer service is available 24/7 and usually very effective
- The platform features a demo account for users to practice trading
- Product portfolio only features CFDs
- Financing rates are high
- Minimal research tools
- There is the inactivity fee
- It is difficult to calculate financing rates
- The platform is non-customizable
- Customer support does not include phone support
- There are no tutorials or educational videos
Plus500 vs. The other brokers
As we can see, Plus500 has quite a few more pros than cons. However, the real question is how does it compare with other brokers? For the purpose of the review, we will compare the platform to two others — Coinbase and XTB.
In terms of trading fees, Plus500 finds itself halfway between Coinbase and XTB, with Coinbase having somewhat lower fees, while XTB is much more expensive. However, when it comes to financing rates, Plus500 is clearly more expensive than the other two.
Neither of the platforms has an account fee, while the XTB platform is the only one that does not feature an inactivity fee. As for withdrawal fees, XTB and Plus500 do not have any.
All three platforms allow deposits via bank transfers, electronic wallets, and credit/debit cards. When it comes to withdrawals, Coinbase is the only one that has a withdrawal fee, which is the same as deposit fee — $25. However, all three platforms differ when it comes to the time necessary to complete withdrawal, with XTB needing a single day, Plus500 needing two days, while Coinbase typically requires three business days or more.
In terms of available products and markets, Plus500 provides the most currency pairs (59) and stock CFDs (1800). XTB provides the highest number of Stock index FCDs (34), ETF CFDs (87), commodity CFDs (21), as well as cryptocurrencies (16).
Plus500 is one of the best and most popular platforms for CFD trading around the world, and it claims to be the top one in Europe. The platform offers very low trading fees, although its financing rates are higher than what other platforms are offering. The platform also features excellent customer service, an easy-to-use interface, top security, and a great deposit/withdrawal deal. In addition, it has a wide variety of products/markets, roughly close to what other platforms are offering.
While there is a clear lack of educational content, trading on the platform is pretty easy and straightforward, making it a good choice provided that you are located in an area supported by one of the company’s subsidiaries.
Our Recommended Forex Broker 2020:
Our Recommended Forex Broker 2020:
Can I transfer my Plus500 portfolio to another broker?
No, Plus500 deals in CFDs only. These are futures contracts that can only work with Plus500. Since traders do not own any stock, they do not have anything that they could transfer.
Can Plus500 run my IRA or other retirement account?
No, Plus500 is a CFD trading platform which offers various CFD trading instruments, but it should not be viewed as a retirement investment firm. If traders manage to make money by trading on the platform, they are free to withdraw it and use it for IRAs elsewhere.
Is Plus500 available in my country?
Plus500 is available in a number of countries, which includes most of those in Europe. The company has multiple subsidiaries around the world which allow it to cover all of the countries that are members of the EU, as well as Norway, the UK, and Switzerland. Next, the platform is available in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Singapore.
Is it cheaper to buy ETFs and stocks elsewhere rather than trade CFDs on Plus500?
Mostly, yes. While Plus500 does have very low trading fees that mostly come down to paying the difference between buy/sell prices, it can become more expensive to enter positions for a longer period of time due to overnight fees. On the other hand, finding the right broker can allow you to trade assets like ETFs and stocks for free. However, CFD trades are more convenient and faster, so there are reasons why you might consider investing in them as well.
Can I access the same account through the apps on my phone and computer?
Yes, Plus500 features an excellent and very user-friendly mobile app which will make it easy to trade via your own account.
How much money should I deposit when I begin?
This depends on a lot of factors, such as your experience, financial situation, and alike. The minimum deposit with Plus500 is £/€/$100, but beyond that, traders should only trade with the money they can afford to lose.
Can I use non-USD currency to pay for Plus500 trades?
Yes, pretty much all major currencies are supported, as well as most of the minor ones. Even so, it would not hurt to check with the customer support and make sure. Otherwise, you might end up paying a hefty conversion fee.
How We Review Brokers
Now that you have read our review, you may be wondering how we actually review platforms. What we write is simply the result of our tests of these trading spaces and there are quite a few things we consider when we are trying to assess whether a platform is reliable and trustworthy or not.
- Regulatory status
- Fees, commissions, leverage and spreads
- Risk management tools and risk disclaimers
- Education tools and resources
- Research and news
- Trading interface and ease of use
- Desktop and mobile trading platform
- Asset variety
- Customer support availability
- Reputation and profit potential
- Variety of deposit and withdrawal payment methods